A sneak peek at next month's Dungeon Crate: A Hexing at Hawkswood

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For years, Dungeon Crate has included an exclusive D&D adventure.

Next month, the box will include A Hexing at Hawkswood. Something foul is afoot at the Hawkswood Academy of Magic. The headmaster is murdered. Malevolent creatures roam the campus. And a brave student can help you uncover what’s behind it all.

The 16-page adventure was written by Dungeon Crate’s Kevin Coffey, and art was provided by Dungeon Doodles.

As always, the adventure is made for you to sit down and play without too much preparation.  It’s perfect to kick off a campaign or for a little side quest in your longer-running game groups.

To get a sneak peek at next month’s adventure and crate, we talked to the designer about his ideas and how this module came to be.

Dungeon Crate: What’s the adventure about?

It’s about a magic school and some nefarious stuff that goes on there.

Kevin: Basically, an evil character has taken up residence in or around the school, and he’s causing all kinds of trouble. The adventure starts in the nearby town. Some bad creatures, new monsters I made called a deepwraiths, come bursting into the town square and attacking people.

They come from the school up the hill, so the adventure takes you there. Of course, once you’re there, you have to go all over the school searching for what you need to stop the bad guy. Since it’s a magic school, there’s all sorts of weird stuff around.

DC: Where does it take place?

K: The whole thing goes down at The Hawkswood Academy of Magic. It might remind you of some other schools where witchcraft and wizardry are taught. Maybe.

I designed it so you’d have to explore most if not all of the school and find some weird stuff along the way.

DC: Did you have any particular inspiration to create it?

K: There are some obvious nods to a certain franchise. If you’re a fan, you’ll probably spot them. If not, it’ll still be a fun adventure.

I’ve been a fan of Harry Potter for a long time, and I always thought it would be a great setting for some D&D adventuring. The teachers and students and monsters are so great.

But things are a little more dangerous at Hawkswood. This is a spoiler, but the headmaster is dead. The kind old wizard doesn’t swoop in to save the day. He’s been murdered.

DC: What kind of monsters did you put in the school?

K: There are a few different things hiding on the grounds. Deepwraiths are similar to wraiths but a lower CR. I created little nefarious creatures called Hordlings.

Then there’s the big bad guy. Again, this is a spoiler, but he’s a cryptolich. He’s not quite a lich yet, but almost there. A full lich is something like a CR 21 monster, and they’re really, really, really hard to kill. They also have the phylactery, so after you kill them, you have to hunt that down and destroy it or else they just come back. This guy hasn’t quite gotten there. He’s still really powerful.

I also like making monsters you can use elsewhere. The cryptolich is also a good sub in your other games for when you want a lich, but it’d be way too powerful to send after lower level characters.

DC: Will there be more adventures at Hawkswood?

K: I have some more ideas. A place like that has all kinds of arcane mysteries hidden inside it, right? Nefarious students and ill-meaning professors have to have hidden stuff all over the place. I’d love to do some follow-ups where new things pop up. I especially like the NPCs in the adventure and feel like they’d be great to have back.

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